We came home yesterday from a short but busy break! On Wednesday we travelled up to Portsmouth and stayed in a hotel overnight ready to spend the whole day there on Thursday, to go to the Spinnaker Tower and dockyards. I was really looking forward to this, as I’d never been to Portsmouth before.
On Thursday night we travelled to Newbury to see our friends Trev, Lisa (The Love of A Captain) and their baby boy Jack. Friday we went to Legoland with them all, Saturday it was Oxford castle and the Natural History Museum with them again, and Sunday we travelled home!
It’s no wonder I’m tired today. Today’s post is just about the Spinnaker Tower and Dockyards, as with everything we crammed in to our short holiday, this would be a very long post otherwise.
Before we went in to the Spinnaker tower, we had a quick snack in the café downstairs. We both had a bacon and sausage sandwich which were made with tiger bread – my favourite. This could be part of why I am now having to embark on a post holiday diet, but it was delicious and worth it.
The boys had a very healthy chocolate cake (we knew Fin would be burning a lot of energy with all the walking so he could get away with a huge slice for a nice change), and Si had a beer before 11am, just because he could.
Definitely a good way to start our day. The Spinnaker Tower can be seen for miles around because it’s so tall (170 metres) and therefore, after we’d taken the lift up to the first level, we could see for miles around. There are stairs to climb to get to the other levels, but luckily not too many.
My favourite part of the Spinnaker was most definitely the clear floor. Walking across it in my bare feet – you aren’t allowed to wear shoes in case you scratch the surface – definitely made my toes tingle. It was amazing looking so far below us as we stood.
Not really one for those who dislike heights though, I freaked out a few people on my Instagram with my photos and video, and Fin did take a little bit of convincing to trust that he wouldn’t fall through. Whereas we pretty much had to force Harley to leave the glass part.
I’m not sure I could do the job of the man in the photo above, he was so far above the ground it made me feel a bit queasy for him! He was nice enough to wave to the boys, which they were pleased about. Everyone who worked in the Spinnaker Tower were polite, very helpful and friendly.
We went to the Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth after the Spinnaker, which Si (who is a little boat mad) was really looking forward to. I’ll be honest and say that I wasn’t especially looking forward to it, I expected to be a bit bored. However, I really wasn’t.
Some of the old ships there were beautiful. Definitely not for those that have mobility problems though I’m afraid, and some smaller children may struggle with the various steep stairways on the old ships. The ships are laid out with artefacts and props, to show you what various things and parts were used for, and to help you to imagine what it was actually like.
We loved investigating little rooms, and spotting the rats and mice around the ships. Don’t worry they weren’t real, but the boys loved spotting them in random places.
The sun was shining when we were there, and so we even went on a boat ride (this was included in the entry price), which was a tour around the dockyards. There were lots of interesting artefacts and information all over the place.
There were things for children to sniff, touch, listen to and generally play with, which I thought was great as it meant they enjoyed it more, which in turn meant that we could.
We did go in to see the Mary Rose right at the end, and it was amazing, but we didn’t get to look around the whole place, as Fin’s blood glucose dropped and he had to sit on the floor for twenty minutes, by which time it was almost time for it to close. We saw enough though, and the sheer scale of her had a big impact.
Whilst we were there, we popped into an antiques shop and Si bought me a ring. Not that sort of ring, I doubt we’ll ever worry about getting married, but it was a gorgeous ring that he bought me just because I loved it. I am so spoilt sometimes, and it’s a lovely reminder of our holiday.
I’d definitely recommend the Spinnaker and Historic Dockyard to anyone for a day out, neither are especially cheap, but they are both things that are amazing to have done once!